Gestumblindi (2020)

Solo Trumpet

Duration: 2 minutes | Composed: 2020 | Commissioned by the Canberra Symphony Orchestra | World Premiere: 2020 by Justin Lingard

Gestumblindi was a character in Norse mythology, best known for an exquisite contest of wisdom that took place between himself (though Odin was in fact disguised as him) and King Heidrek. Gestumblindi presented a series of riddles which, due to their ingenuity, eventually exposed him as Odin. The idea of creating a piece for a solo melodic instrument inspired by a riddle was a notion I was immediately drawn to. While there are many riddles to take inspiration from in the Gestumblindi-Heidrek exchange, the second last in the series evoked the most interesting visuals for me, as this was the first I'd ever heard of Odin's eight-legged horse, Sleipnir.
“Who are the twain [two] that on ten feet run? three eyes they have, but only one tail. Aright guess now this riddle, Heithrek!”
“Good is thy riddle, Gestumblindi, and guessed it is: that is Óthin riding on Sleipnir.”

This work was commissioned as part of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra's Australian Mini Series Project.